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The Falconer of God

Written by: William Rose Benet | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 I flung my soul to the air like a falcon flying. 
I said, "Wait on, wait on, while I ride below! 
 I shall start a heron soon 
 In the marsh beneath the moon -- 
A strange white heron rising with silver on its wings, 
 Rising and crying 
 Wordless, wondrous things; 
The secret of the stars, of the world's heart-strings, 
 The answer to their woe. 
Then stoop thou upon him, and grip and hold him so!" 

 My wild soul waited on as falcons hover. 
 I beat the reedy fens as I trampled past. 
 I heard the mournful loon 
 In the marsh beneath the moon. 
And then -- with feathery thunder -- the bird of my desire 
 Broke from the cover 
 Flashing silver fire. 
 High up among the stars I saw his pinions spire. 
 The pale clouds gazed aghast 
As my falcon stoopt upon him, and gript and held him fast. 

My soul dropt through the air -- with heavenly plunder? -- 
Gripping the dazzling bird my dreaming knew? 
 Nay! but a piteous freight, 
 A dark and heavy weight 
Despoiled of silver plumage, its voice forever stilled, -- 
 All of the wonder 
 Gone that ever filled 
Its guise with glory. Oh, bird that I have killed, 
 How brilliantly you flew 
Across my rapturous vision when first I dreamed of you! 

 Yet I fling my soul on high with new endeavor, 
 And I ride the world below with a joyful mind. 
 I shall start a heron soon 
 In the marsh beneath the moon -- 
A wondrous silver heron its inner darkness fledges! 
 I beat forever 
 The fens and the sedges. 
 The pledge is still the same -- for all disastrous pledges, 
 All hopes resigned! 
My soul still flies above me for the quarry it shall find.